A Seahorse on the Thames, by Susan Meissner, is a beautiful story of love, forgiveness, memory, and hope. Meissner’s characters are so real, I can hear their voices as I read. She paints folks as flawed, yet yearning—needy, yet strong. I wanted her protagonist, Alexa Poole, to grow, risk, and untangle the story of her past. Expertly plotted, warmly written, Meissner once again proves she’s one of the best CBA novelists.
Violet Dawn, by Brandilyn Collins, is a roller coaster ride of worry, creepiness, surprise, and sweet vindication. Her prose is taut, yet beautiful. You’ll find yourself cheering for Paige Williams while loving the town’s likeable (and un-likeable) characters. Collins expertly draws the fictional Kanner Lake in a beckoning way—the way a good author tempts us to new books, much like Jan Karon wooed readers with life in Mitford.